Bill Nepfel, University of Hawaii women's basketball coach, threw five different defenses at Cal State Fullerton and its high-scoring forward, Robin Holmes, Thursday in the first round of the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. Tournament.
"I don't know what else we could have tried," Nepfel said.
Don't worry Bill. It probably wouldn't have worked, anyway.
Holmes, a 5-foot 8-inch senior from El Toro High School, shredded every defense the Rainbows had to offer on her way to a tournament-record, career-high, 37 points to lead the Titans to a 76-69 win at Cal State Long Beach.
Holmes made 13 of 24 shots from the floor, 11 of 11 from the line and scored Fullerton's last eight points, as the Titans (11-17) held off the Rainbows (14-14). Fullerton will meet the University of Nevada Las Vegas in today's 2 semifinal at the Forum. The winner of will advance to Saturday's championship.
Holmes scored 17 points in the first half and 20 in the second, mostly on outside jumpers and driving shots. The Titans needed every bit of her offense.
Fullerton, as a result of a 16-2 run, opened a 33-26 lead with 3:06 in the half, but the Rainbows rallied to tie the score, 48-48, on former Brea-Olinda guard Da Houl's free throw five minutes into the second half.
Holmes hit a jumper and Amy Torczon, who scored 12 points off the bench, made two free throws to put Fullerton up, 66-60, with 5:11 left. Three minutes later, Holmes made two straight jump shots and the Titans finally had a comfortable lead, 72-65.
But Hawaii's Tondi Redden scored, made a steal and passed to Houl for a basket that made it a three-point game (72-69) with 37 seconds to go. The Titans, on their next two possessions, got the ball to Holmes, who was fouled and twice made a pair of free throws in the bonus situation in the final 27 seconds.
"I told my players that I didn't care if (Robin) scored all of the points, as long as we win," Fullerton Coach Maryalyce Jeremiah said.
For Nepfel, it seemed as if Holmes did score all the points.
"Heck, we held her to 37 points," he said, scanning the final-game stat sheet. "What's the problem with that defense?"
None, if you're Robin Holmes.
San Diego State 73, UC Irvine 56--The Aztecs scored the first eight points of the second half and pulled away from the Anteaters on their way to the victory.
San Diego will advance to the semifinals against Cal State Long Beach today.
Irvine (14-14) was leading, 20-15, in the first half when Anteater forward Cheri Graham picked up her third foul and left the game with 7:50 remaining.
With Graham, a 6-3 senior, on the bench, the Aztecs outscored Irvine, 16-6, eight of those points by 6-3 freshman forward Brooke Meadows, to close the half with a 31-26 lead
Jessica Haynes then opened the second half with two straight baskets, followed by Dee Dee Duncan's jumper and Pat Rice's layup, and the Aztecs (14-16) had a 39-26 lead.
Irvine made one final run at San Diego, scoring eight straight points, six of them by 6-6 center Natalie Crawford, to cut it to 43-37 with 12:37 to play.
But, minutes later, the Aztecs ran off nine straight points, five by Shelda Arceneaux, to take a 61-44 lead with 6:28 left.
University of Nevada Las Vegas 77, University of the Pacific 70--The Rebels, despite shooting 43% from the floor (30 of 69) and committing 30 turnovers, defeated the Tigers. Forward Angela Christian scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Las Vegas (20-8), and center Donya Monroe added 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Gretchen Meinhardt, a sophomore from Edison High School, led Pacific (11-17) with 20 points. The Rebels had defeated the Tigers, 106-56, to close the regular season.
Cal State Long Beach 94, UC Santa Barbara 63--The 49ers, who had defeated the Gauchos by 50 and 30 points in the regular season, had another easy game to advance to the semifinals. Forward Carol Brandt scored 20 points, guard Shaundra McMichael had 18, and center Cindy Brown added 14 to help seventh-ranked Long Beach improve to 27-3.
The 49ers used a tenacious, full-court press to help cause 36 Santa Barbara turnovers. Long Beach led, 49-31, at halftime and was never threatened.